Drugmakers go to DTC to promote IBS drugs

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Allergan and Ironwood this week launched the first DTC campaign for Viberzi, a treatment for patients with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. Arnold Worldwide worked on the campaign. The launch follows a wave of direct-to-consumer campaigns focused on promoting treatments for the two types of IBS.

Drugmakers spent a total of $143 million on DTC ads promoting four treatments for IBS in 2015. 




Viberzi

Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday launched a DTC campaign for Viberzi, a medication for patients with IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D). In the ad, a woman's IBS comes to life and follows her everywhere, reminding her of her discomfort, until she visits her doctor to inquire about Viberzi. The company spent $182,000 DTC ads for Viberzi in 2015, according to Kantar Media. 



Xifaxan

Valeant spent $56 million on Xifaxan's gut guy in 2015, according to Kantar Media. In “You Know the Symptoms,” a woman's stomach grumbles as she's about to take a seat for her dinner date. Most people know the symptoms of IBS-D when they start. The message is clear — take Xifaxan to relieve abdominal pain and diarrhea so you can have more enjoyable dates.



Linzess

A number of patients talk about having tried everything without success to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) in this stop-motion ad for Linzess. “I've heard it all,” says one man. “Eat more fiber, flax seeds, yogurt.” Ironwood and Allergan spent $111.6 million in 2014 and $84.8 million in 2015 on DTC ads for Linzess, according to Kantar Media.

Amitiza

Sucampo's treatment for IBS-C, Amitiza, has been around since 2006. This ad is the drugmaker's new effort to promote the drug amid competition against the likes of Ironwood and Allergan. It uses balloons that are tied and twisted to convey symptoms such as bloating and straining. Sucampo spent $1.3 million on DTC ads for Amitiza in 2014, and $1.9 million in 2015, according to Kantar Media. Sucampo CEO Peter Greenleaf said the drugmaker is aiming for a targeted approach, focusing on adults older than 45 years old.

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